Fair Work regime expensive, bad for productivity: Ai Group

The Australian Industry Group’s Innes Willox will make a stern critique of the current workplace laws today.

The CEO of the Ai Group, an industry body representing manufacturing and other industries, will make a speech in Melbourne calling for increased flexibility and productivity gains through this.

''Industry needs a workplace relations system which does not impose unnecessary barriers on productivity and flexibility … Unions recoil every time we mention this F-word,'' Willox will say, according to The Age.

Unions have expressed concern that flexibility is merely a euphemism for taking away workers’ rights. The ACTU’s Dave Oliver told the Sydney Morning Herald that ''flexibility'' is just ''code for reduced wages and conditions''

Willox will argue that the Fair Work act has been unfair to employers, but he will also criticise the opposition’s reluctance to discuss their plans for workplace laws, saying they are "acting like scared little rabbits when debating any substantive IR policy issue".

He will also contend that the current IR situation is something that is sending Australian jobs overseas, with the cost of doing business being made too high.

"Business owners and managers are resilient and up for a challenge, but if things are made too difficult through ill-conceived legislative and other changes the inevitable result will be more business closures, more offshoring and less Australian jobs," The Australian reports that Willox will say in his address.